CITY OF PHILADELPHIA PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT
FORENSIC SCIENTIST II
( Chemical Analysis )
( Criminalistics )
This is forensic chemistry work at the full performance level analyzing physical and trace
evidence for criminal trial presentation, in the area of specialization. An important aspect of the work
is the presentation of factual and expert testimony in court. Work in this class differs from the next lower
level in that the employee is expected to make recommendations based on analysis and evaluation of test
data. Work is performed under the supervision of a higher level chemist, and involves some disagreeable
TYPICAL EXAMPLES OF WORK (ILLUSTRATIVE ONLY)
- Analyzes macroscopic and microscopic physical and trace evidence, utilizing a variety of
disciplines; examines, identifies and presents conclusions in the chemical testing of blood, flammable
substances from arson scenes, explosives residues, unknown substances and liquids other than drugs,
possible gunpowder traces, hairs, paints, etc.; performs biological and microbiological tests on hairs,
fibers, brushings from trace evidence, possible spermatozoa traces, glass, plants, and human and plant
cells; performs biochemical tests on blood, saliva and possible seminal fluids; performs physical
techniques such as blood droplet trajectory and analysis of tool marks, footprint impressions and large
variety of electrical, electronic, and mechanical devices; participates or advises in the collection of crime
scene evidence in arson cases involving deaths, especially when homicide is suspected; evaluates risks
concerning and/or identifies hazardous materials in the field and the laboratory.
Chemical Analysis Specialty
- Analyzes macroscopic and microscopic suspected substances for presence of illegal elements, by
use of a variety of traditional and instrumental chemistry techniques; identifies controlled substances,
precursors, by products, and substances used for drug dilution; examines and identifies suspected drug
paraphernalia; analyzes foodstuffs for the presence of drugs, some poisons, or other foreign material;
analyzes urine for drugs and establishes recent usage by toxicological analysis.
- Analyzes clandestine drug laboratory equipment and suspected controlled and process substances
to determine intended laboratory end-product, route of manufacture and chemical reaction risk; advises
police personnel at crime scene on the safe and proper collection and handling of suspected controlled
substances and drug equipment; may transport large quantities of suspected controlled substances.
- Conducts quantitative and qualitative chemical analyses by using specific classical and
instrumental techniques; uses a variety analytical instruments such as infra-red, visible, ultraviolet, and
fluorescence spectrophotometers, gas and liquid chromatographs, polarizing and phase contrast
microscopes, and x-ray and thermal analysis units; conducts a wide variety of complex and difficult
analyses; decides what chemical tests and procedures are to be used to analyze substances.
- Performs research to determine new and/or revised methods for performing chemical analyses
or to determine the effectiveness of current analytical methods.
- Reviews test methods, procedures and data of lower level chemists and technicians; recommends
alternate courses of action to achieve desired results; trains employees in testing methods and procedures;
may supervise lower level technicians.
- Follows evidence control procedures to maintain chain-of-evidence integrity; insures evidence is
locked securely in designated locker or space before and after analysis.
- Utilizes computer software to analyze results of tests in order to perform calculations; studies
pamphlets, journals, and books for use in devising methods and tests; devises mathematical charts,
graphs, and tables as aids to conducting chemical tests; evaluates laboratory test results in the area of
concern; prepares technical reports on findings and project results.
- Appears in court to testify as an expert witness on individual findings of chemical and physical
- Performs related work as required.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS AND ABILITIES
- the principles, methods, and techniques of analytical chemistry.
- mathematics and statistics as they relate to analytical chemistry.
- safety practices and procedures as they apply to analyses in the laboratory.
- research methods and techniques and the current literature in the field of analytical chemistry.
- the rules of evidence and the methods used in presenting evidence in court, and policies and procedures for maintaining chain-of-evidence integrity.
- non-chemistry techniques which includes microscopy, for both specialties, and biological, serological, biochemical and microbiological techniques, and some physics and tool mark and footprint identification and evaluation techniques, for the Criminalistics specialty.
- drug toxicology and biology as they apply to drug analysis and related activity, for Chemical Analysis specialty.
- perform complex chemical analyses and to use quality assurance techniques with these methods.
- learn the operation, application, and basic maintenance of sophisticated chemical testing instruments.
- conduct research into chemical methods and techniques.
- operate a computerized gas chromatography/mass spectrometer.
- interpret the results of analytical tests in order to propose possible solutions.
- learn computer programming.
- prepare technical forms, reports, and other correspondence.
- express ideas effectively, both orally and in writing.
- establish and maintain effective working relationships with associates, consultants, regulatory agencies, and the general public.
- testify in court effectively.
MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE (The following statement represents the minimum training and experience standards which will be used to admit or reject applicants for tests. Applications submitted by candidates for this class will be reviewed based on training and experience requirements as approved on 11/85.)
- Completion of a bachelor's degree program at an accredited college or university with major coursework in chemistry, criminalistics, biology or biochemistry with at least twenty-four credit hours
- Two years of analytical chemistry testing experience in a forensic laboratory; one year of which shall have been above the training level, in the area of specialization.
Or any equivalent combination of education and experience determined to be acceptable by the Personnel Department which has included the completion of a bachelor's degree program as specified above as the educational minimum.
PHYSICAL AND MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS
- Ability to physically perform the duties and to work in the environmental conditions required of a position in this class.
LICENSES, REGISTRATIONS AND/OR CERTIFICATES
- Possession of a valid proper class motor vehicle operator's license as issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania prior to appointment and during tenure of employment as a Forensic Scientist II if required by work assignment.
PAY RANGE: EP19
Class Established: 11/1985
END OF JOB CLASS SPECIFICATION - 3H49